Tiger Woods as Magnetic as Ever with Thrilling 61 at Firestone

Lindsay GibbsFeatured ColumnistAugust 2, 2013

Aug 2, 2013; Akron, OH, USA; Tiger Woods speaks to reporters after tying the course record with a score of 61 after the second round of the World Golf Championships - Bridgestone Invitational at Firestone Country Club. Mandatory Credit: Debby Wong-USA TODAY Sports
Debby Wong-USA TODAY Sports

Once again, Tiger Woods got everyone talking. 

Second rounds of the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational don't usually become must-see TV, but that's exactly what happened on Friday when Woods took over the course.

At one point Woods was on pace for an elusive 59, but after making par on the last two holes, the golfing great ended up "settling" for a course-record 61.

Starting his round with a birdie, an eagle and another birdie, Woods immediately indicated that he was about to do something special.

As his flawless round continued hole-by-hole, there was a noticeable buzz in the air, the kind that only someone of Tiger Woods' cross-culture celebrity can generate.

All around the world, casual viewers began to tune in, remembering how much fun it is to watch Woods play his best golf.

Fifty nine is always the magic number, and after 13 holes, Woods was nine-under on the day and only needed two birdies in the last five holes to make history.

The Golf Channel officially branded it "59 Watch."

Though Woods ended up coming up two strokes short, his phenomenal par save on the 18th hole was the perfect way to cap off his transcendent round. He hit his tee-shot into the gallery and ended up being left with a 25-foot putt to make par.

In vintage Tiger style, he holed it.

As the electricity surrounding his round on Friday proved once again, nobody lights up the sports world like the controversial but legendary Woods, who is still trying to win his first major in over five years after a string of injuries and an infamous personal controversy sidelined his quest for 18.

This year has been a huge step back in the right direction for the 14-time Major champion, as he has re-claimed the No. 1 ranking over Rory McIlroy, won a PGA-best four titles and been in the conversation at the Masters and British Open.

While he's not quite the Tiger Woods that he once was, days like Friday prove that he's getting a whole lot closer.

But make no mistake about it, Woods is far from satisfied. It's still all about the majors. 

If he comes up short next week at the PGA Championships, there will still be fans and pundits doubting if he will ever be the dominating golfer that he once was. Days like Friday will become mere footnotes.

Woods certainly earned such expectations fair and square, as he's been public about his quest to become the best golfer of all time. Larger-than-life figures have to do larger-than-life things to satisfy the masses. 

Woods is a celebrity in his own stratosphere, a golfer playing under a different microscope than the rest of the field and a multi-million dollar marketing entity all by himself. He doesn't live by everyone else's rules because he has proved time and time again that he's not like everyone else. 

But, at least for one special day at Firestone, we remembered what all the buzz is all about.